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Early Childhood

Our educational program is designed to foster the development of the whole child by providing a rich balance of experiences.   We value holistic development across a variety of areas: Social Emotional, Language, Physical, Cognitive, Literacy and Mathematics.

Throughout our Early Childhood program, we seek to cultivate natural curiosity and an eagerness to learn.  Additionally, we honor the unique and a connection to the development of every child and work hard to support individual needs as they arise.  Ultimately, we want every child’s first school experience to build a love for learning  community that provides a strong foundation for future success.

CARING ENVIRONMENT

We believe that children thrive in a warm, loving environment that gives them confidence to explore. We will be responsive and nurturing, encouraging children to take risks, try new things and build realtionships with peers and adults. Our classroom will provide a family and a kind and loving environment that will promote social and emotional growth and encourage learning.

Reggio Emilia Approach

OUR EC program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education that originated in Northern Italy. BFIS does not intend to duplicate this philosophy because the children, families, and teachers of BFIS offer a different culture, location, and perspective.

This approach is based on a number of distinctive characteristics: the participation of families, the collegial work of all the personnel, the importance of the educational environment, the presence of the teaching team and most importantly about learning and advocacy for children. In its most basic form, it is a way of observing what children know, their innate curiosity, what drives them as learners, and what challenges them. Teachers record these observations to reflect on developmentally appropriate ways to help children expand their academic and social potential. 

Purposeful Play

Play is the way of learning in the early years. It is essential to their development. Children at BFIS have many opportunities to build, explore, and fully engage in open-ended play. Children will  learn while engaged in meaningful activities that provide just enough challenges to encourage learning. While doing this they will learn to persevere, to control attention, to create friendships and to control emotions. There is considerable research that supports the use of a variety of teaching strategies based on play that are developmentally appropriate such as dramatic play, for self regulation, language and literacy learning. Children learn phonemic awareness by singing and playing rhyming games. They learn vocabulary and background knowledge through small group story book reading with opportunities to talk about what is read. Children gain literacy skills by doing their own writing whether while they are playing restaurant or while they are describing their drawing. Our role as teachers will be to join the children in their play in a joyful way, supporting their ideas and making learning fun.

Early Mathematics

We believe that mathematics is an ideal pathway for developing a child’s ability to see relationships, think logically, and solve simple problems.  Therefore, we design learning experiences that help children learn to classify, sort, and compare objects by characteristics such as color, shape, and size.  We also work on counting from 1-20, naming and identifying basic shapes, and creating patterns. By the end of Pre- K, the children will be able to demonstrate flexible thinking with numeracy by learning different values that can be added to make a sum total of five, which helps support mathematic fluency.

Pre-Literacy Development

From a very young age children begin establishing the building blocks that will help them grow into successful readers and writers.  Our goal is to ensure that we provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences that enable children to develop a love for literature and understand that writing is a means of communication and expression.

Through activities embedded into the daily routine, our aim is for children to gain the critical foundation of pre-literacy skills necessary for later success. In Nursery, there is a significant focus on developing auditory discrimination of sounds through singing and rhymes. As children move into Pre-Kindergarten, the aim shifts toward using auditory skills to start identifying specific phonemes (letter sounds) within spoken language.  These efforts are supported by the use of Jolly Phonics, a sequential phonics-based program that serves as a key resource in our Early Childhood program.

Physical Education (PE)

Early Childhood students have PE classes taught by a specialist every day of the week and special movement classes two times per week.  The focus of our Early Childhood PE program is to support the gross motor development of children related to areas such as strength, balance, and coordination.

Art

Early Childhood students have art classes taught by a specialist once per week. The focus of our Early Childhood Art program is to allow children to explore different artistic media and use art as an avenue of self-expression.

Music

Early Childhood students have music classes taught by a specialist once per week. The focus of our Early Childhood Music program is to provide access to the musical world of songs and instruments. In addition to singing and creating music as a class, movement is also an integral part of our music classes to provide a highly kinesthetic learning experience.  

Spanish

Early Childhood students have Spanish classes taught by our language teachers twice per week. The aim of our Early Childhood Spanish program is provide an opportunity for all students to emphasize basic vocabulary and develop auditory familiarity with the language. These classes often include a combination of activities such as read alouds and sing alongs that develop early listening and speaking skills in Spanish. Often times, the themes of the lessons mirror concepts being taught by the homeroom teachers in English to provide reinforcement in both languages

Social and Emotional Learning

We value the capacity  to feel especial " juts for who we are" ant to treat others kindly because we understand that they are special, too. Establishing this as a key goal, children develop social and emotional skills early in order to be ready  for cognitive/academic development.